Football-less Sunday #3. Top Wide Receivers of 2016.

Back in July 2016 I made few “Top of…” entries and the first one was about the glamorous position of a wide receiver.
Here, I made a case for 9 receivers who would wind up being the top of the crop in 2016; and now since the season’s over I can easily go back and check how “good” my Crystal balling predictions were. So here we go from the 9th upwards

A.J. Green (Bengals):
He ranked 2nd in receiving yards per game with 96.4 which is a fantastic result but otherwise he was nowhere else to be seen in top 10 of other receving statistic lines. Injuries and missing 6 games definitely contributed to this rather quiet season.

Allen Robinson (Jaguars): Well, with 151 targets and only 73 catches, one can easily see that it wasn’t a great season by promising young receiver. Robinson wasn’t really featured in top 10 in receiver stats. Some of that must be due to QBs poor play as Bortles really struggled this season.

T.Y. Hilton (Colts): The 2016/17 leader in receiving yards with 1448, was helped by injuries of other top dogs. Nevertheless he still averaged over 90 yards a game for a top 3rd position, Hilton was also in top 10 of average yds per catch with 15.9. Another productive year by Luck’s favourite weapon.

Jordy Nelson (Packers): The 2016/17 Comeback Player of the Year, was also leading in receiving touchdowns with 14. Heavily featured in few Top 10s, Nelson bounced back up after losing all of the previous season. There should be more to come if the chemistry with Rodgers continues.

Amari Cooper (Raiders): I was expecting more from Cooper but I haven’t factored in Crabtree’s production into the Raiders offense. Still, Cooper reached top 10 in average yards per game beating his teammate at least in this category through the season.

Dez Bryant (Cowboys): Unforseen emergence of two rookies among the Cowboys squad probably factored a lot into Dez’s production as he wasn’t even target 100 times (97) through the season. Three missed games didn’t help.
Bryant still reached the top 10 in receiving touchdowns (8) and average yds per catch (15.9). Quiet year for the wideout but a bright future by the look of things.

Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants): One of only three wide receivers to catch at least 100 catches this past season (101). Beckham Jr had a solid year although the famous trip to Miami is believed to be a lesson for the future. Still, Beckham Jr was top five in few categories including total receiving yards with 1367, receiving touchdowns with 10 and an average of 85.4 yds per game.

DeAndre Hopkins (Texans): I think, this is my biggest ‘bust‘ of this list as Hopkins couldn’t get going and some part of it was the struggle of Brock Osweiller at QB who had a terrible year as a starter.
Hopkins failed to reach 1000 receiving yards (954), caught only 4 TD passes and his catch rate was only just above 50% with 78 catches from 151 targets. Phew… I blew it here badly.

Antonio Brown (Steelers): Well, Brown hasn’t finished on top of any receiving stats lines despite having a solid year that featured 12 TD catches, from 106 in total for 1286 yards and an average of 85.6 yds per game.

Hm… It is hard to say who was The Top Dog really but definately this list should include Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandin Cook and few others. Still I think I have done reasonably well given the lack of experience in football analysis. It’s been fun revisiting my past thought processes. Few more to follow, I think.
Who was your top of the cake, wideout of 2016/17? Leave a comment or two for a discussion to begin. Cheers.

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

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NFL Rapid Predictions- For some it is just the beginning, Week 17

I have given the betting another go and came short so there, lesson learnt- “keep it all in your imagination dude”. At least you won’t go bankrupt, you won’t become a sudden millionaire too but hey…
Anyway, the Christmas weekend has been poor for me and the taste of sadness is going to be the prevailing theme for me and I’d imagine few teams, including my Colts. They’re out and I hope they won’t play their starters in the meaningless game that will decide the draft pick order.
In the meantime I have gone 10-6 in Week 16 and the lowest score in many weeks still kept me in a region of 0.629 score for the season with 151-89 record. I think I have no other options than to live.
The closest guess this week goes to IND @ OAK game where I predicted 26:34 Indy loss to Oakland and the game finished 25:38 and broken Derek Carr

(insert sad face here).
WEEK 17 holds few key games and bunch of time wasters so let’s get predicting!

Jaguars @ Colts: Do not play Andrew Luck, do not play T.Y. Hilton, do not play Vontae Davis, do not play Donte Moncrief, do not… I think everyone gets the message I’m trying to sell here but I bet the Colts will do their thing and let them play to tick off some personal milestones and get that meaningless win…
As for Jaguars who had them possibly game of the year, go sweep Colts this season, just for bloody fun, especially if they dare to play their starters, dummies…

Colts to win 20:17::

Packers @ Lions: Huge one here and it was flexed to Sunday Night as this is a game of “You win You are in” unless you both tie then you both are in. Yup, imagine overtime type of scenario when Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford play like extremely safe just to get through with kneel downs and spikes just for the joy of watching it.

Packers to win 37:31

Saints @ Falcons: A good divisional match up but only Falcons have something to play for- seed so I can’t imagine the team going all nuts if things don’t get started as planned for Atlanta. Still it could be offensive festival one might enjoy a lot and another chance for Matt Ryan

to showcase his MVP skills that many voting for the title won’t consider.

Falcons to win 30:21

Panthers @ Buccaneers: The Buccaneers definitely don’t want to see a tie between the Packers and Lions but they still must win this game to have some chances. The Panthers will try to strike in revenge for a disappointing campaign after trip to the Super Bowl last year.

Panthers to win 17:11

Giants @ Redskins: I don’t know if the Redskins will pull their all effort in the coming game to try to come closer to securing playoff tickets that involve a certain no tie game to happen but we all know the Giants are the 5th seed in the NFC and it stays like this unless the world ends before the end of the year. Yes, this game has potential to be exciting!

Redskins to win 24:17:

Cowboys @ Eagles: Cowboys are said to roll with the momentum and play their starters. Cowboys’ fans hope there won’t be any injuries that will derail the disappointing play off run.
As for the Eagles it’s yet another murky season but fans in Philadelphia are used to being disappointed.

Cowboys to win 20:13

Bears @ Vikings: Meh. At one point the Vikings were the only undefeated team in NFL this season. How badly their fortunes turned around.
Bears’ fortunes were always shite.

Vikings to win 21:16

Bills @ Jets: The Rex Brothers are gone and E. J. Manuel will be a starting QB for the Bills even though Tyrod Taylor has been a dependable under the center.
The Jets continue to be rubbish.

Bills to win 20:11

Texans @ Titans: Titans lost Marcus Mariota and definitely lost a chance for playoffs with the ugly loss to Jaguars. The Texans are going to run Tom Savage into playoffs and they should be out after one game. Hey!

Texans to win 24:17

Patriots @ Dolphins: There’s AFC first seed on the stake with clear path to the Super Bowl and there’s this strange Dolphins team that likes to win games at home against the Patriots.

Patriots to win 28:10

Browns @ Steelers: Ah… If you’re a Steelers, let them bones rest and play the second stringers and if you’re Browns…

Steelers to win 19:16

Ravens @ Bengals: Normally this match up is heated with plenty of hate and something on stake but this season at this time of the year there’s sadly nothing for both teams to break their bones about.

Bengals to win 23:16

Cardinals @ Rams: No Jeff Fisher for Rams, no play offs for Cardinals. It’s been a very down season for Carson Palmer and co. and it’ll be interesting to see how this team bounces back up next season. Not much to see here during that game.

Cardinals to win 30:17

Chiefs @ Chargers: There’s not much in the game for the Chargers besides trying to forget last week’s game they lost to the Browns.
For Chiefs there’s still seeding on the plate but it’s not 100% in their control but they gotta win here.

Chiefs to win 23:14

Seahawks @ 49ers: Well, few years ago it would be a game to watch now it is a game to survive watching.

Seahawks to win 25:12

Raiders @ Broncos: The Raiders lost Derek Carr for the season but they hope to have him back for possible Super Bowl if they make it. For now they gotta make sure no. 2 seed is theirs after that’s game finished. So go for the win.

Broncos to win 19:13

Happy 2017 gals and guys!

NFL Rapid Predictions-  Any Leftovers…left? Week #13


For some bizzare reason I missed TEN vs CHI in my last week predictions so instead of 16 scores I have 15… And from these 15 I have some good ones really. I’m seriously thinking whether to start some little gamble using real money coz I’m getting that good!
Week 12 saw my score at 12-3 not counting the missed game and for the Season my score is at 0.608 with 107-69 record. I’m really surprised I’m doing that well but it probably is just beginners luck.
WEEK 13 predictions are below as follow and include few upsets (I think):

Cowboys @ Vikings: And the week starts with a big one. The red hot sizzling spicy Cowboys are going to walk all over Vikings’ falling apart defense… Or might we see an upset here?
It is really hard to predict as the Vikings lost their early season’s charm and the Cowboys are yet to run out of perks and potions that keep their score so inflated…

Vikings to win 19:18

Texans @ Packers: Ah… The game that interests me due to Colts needing the Texans to get a big fat L. Will they have a free entry to Aaron Rodgers’ house or will that advert finally becomes relevant? Or at least it stopped from airing any more…
Given the last week sharp performance by Rodgers and Co. the Texans might need to pay up…

Packers to win 29:17

Eagles @ Bengals: I’m not going to lose sleep over the outcome of this game but some people in Philadelphia might…
As far as Cincinnati’s fans are concerned they are still in the picture due to lousy division but I see no play offs for them this season.

Bengals to win 21:20

Dolphins @ Ravens: Both teams are still well in the picture but only the Dolhpind are riding a hot streak whilst the Ravens are blowing their fingers as they got burned few times recently. An important game with plenty on the plate. Who can manage to eat more? I really don’t know.

Ravens to win 17:14

Broncos @ Jaguars: The defending champs are looking poorly, so poorly that they might even miss playoffs so every game is a must win now. Luckily, this week they should enjoy the sunshine of Jacksonville and re-evaluate their goals in the free time between the tackles of poorly beaten up Jaguars.

Broncos to win 19:10

Lions @ Saints: Ah. Ah! That sort of game where one might expect high scores and last second comebacks. The Lions are making history here as they already captured 7 wins in dying seconds of their games and the next such win is going to be historical.
The Saints fancy late comebacks too to some degree and Drew Brees isn’t slowing down so perhaps we will witness more records for the books.

Saints to win 31:26

Chiefs @ Falcons: Both teams are well within the play off hunt and both teams can’t really afford many losses so it is another game where the winner takes home that little bit more than just a W.

Chiefs to win 21:18

49ers @ Bears: Hm… Well… There’s not much hope there except trying to save one’s face while aiming for a highest pick possible in the coming draft.
There were more drama around Kaepernick but the movement seems to have died off natural death of fast foods and even faster news.

Bears to win 17:14

Rams @ Patriots: It is going to be a typical day in the office for both teams really. The Rams will be on the field, setting up in right formation and stuff…
The Patriots will try to quickly put the game away to avoid unnecessary sweating they had when playing the Jets and the order of the world will remain unchanged.

Patriots to win 31:13

Bills @ Raiders: Hm… The Bills started off cold then got hot and then the autumn came and the cold became something unavoidable…
Raiders on the other hand even survived Derek Carr losing a finger during last game that got replaced with a magical glove. There’s no stopping… journos from hailing Carr the MVP.

Raiders to win 27:20

Giants @ Steelers: Giants are apparently rolling quite well while the Steelers took away a win from depleted of talent Indianapolis last week.
The Steelers need that win than the Giants and they play at home so surely it will be a walk around a pond…

Steelers to win 28:24

Redskins @ Cardinals: Cardinals’ season has been a wonderful disaster of all and despite having some mathematical chances for play offs, the real ones look quite dull and dim… Same as the corners of Arizona’s darkest corners of city.
Recalibrate are still in the race and even Josh Norman is still with them despite that awful WWE video mash up seeing him beat by the Dez the Wizz… Ah the glamorous drama… Yawn…

Cardinals to win 26:14

Buccaneers @ Chargers: Tampa Bay has been on a roll and they shouted loud after the game they won 14-5 against the scary Seahawks. Is it some sort mid season trickery or they found a wizard…?
As for Chargers… They play. They win. They lose. Philip Rivers pulls faces. All the same there. I think…

Chargers to win 14:10

Panthers @ Seahawks: Ah. Thatcher Sunday Night F…eel Wieteska Great games are meant to be Player but sometimes it Justyna doesn’t feel like f…ootball.
Since the Panthers are pretty much still hung over from their Super Bowl -never happened winning party- and the Hawks are apparently a terror -that scored whole 5 points against the Buccaneers last week- this game might be a potential bore with the Terror smacking the Hangover…
On the other hand it could be a huge defensive slug fest and festival of punts until someone has enough…

Seahawks to win 10:6

Colts @ Jets: Last season the Colts had a chance to win against the Jets at home and it was also a game when Vinatieri missed 29 yarder and then started a streak of 44 made field goals in the row. The Colts lost then, Andrew Luck didn’t look himself, Gore fumbled on a yard from end zone and whole hell broke loose.
It’d be fitting for Colts to close the miserable circle with a dominant win here and set a new standard for years to come…
Jets… They still have Fitzpatrick, although not the version from last year, they still have Revis Island although loopsided, free entry one that not many are scared of going to…
It’d be an embarrassment and end of 2016 season for Colts to lose, especially that Luck is expected to play…

Colts win 34:21

That’s that. I hope I havet missed any match ups again.
So much for re reading and double checking, eh?
What are your picks this week gals and guys?

NFL Rapid Predictions – Fourth Week kind of abroad

Ah. I’m kind of stuck at around the 50% Mark with my crystal glass guessing. Well, I’m no expert at this NFL stuff. Just a fan that is a tad too excited over some things. Unfortunately, despite being huge Andrew Luck and Colts supporter I will be watching their early game on Sunday morning (if you live in the States) from home as the ticket prices were a bit too much for the size of my wallet. Sad but true. Most true stories are sad because they are true… Life, eh?

Anyways, here are the Week 3 predictions for those interested. As one can see, not great but not tragic either really.

Score for WEEK THREE 8-8

Score overall 25-23

Closest game Well, I wasn’t far off in SD@ IND 22:26 game as my prediction really took two points away from the Chargers and gave it to the Colts for my predicted score 20:28. I think I’ll celebrate now.

For the week 4 I am attempting to do better than in previous weeks aiming at at least 10 correct scores. Let’s see what that is going to look like.

Dolphins @ Bengals: For the Thursday Rush winner in uniforms is going to be have to be a tie as both are ugly as hell. For the actual teams the advantage sits with the home team. Yes, the Bengals lost to Broncos on their own turf but despite the inexperienced rookie quarterback, they are still the defending title champs.
Miami has played poorly, Tannenhill isn’t really setting the world alight or anything and they narrowly escaped a loss to Browns. So… It’s bad there in Miami and Cindy at least has a rusher that’s putting somewhat ok numbers so home team it is.
I won’t watch that anyway.

Bengals to win 18:13

Colts @ Jaguars: Well the @ is kind of fluid. It depends which team will have more fans in London. This is the game that many had the Colts choking at but since they have choked most of their 2016 season it is hard to say whether they can manage any more.
Luck looks mortal and lacking ideas in how to spruce up the teams effectivness (although the red zone looks much improved), Gore nearly ended up with 100 rush yards until someone decided it was a bad idea to have a running game… At least couple of defensive key players are back and the D faces struggling Bortles and Jaguars offense. On paper it looks promising for Colts but what if the young and newly assembled Jaguars defence finally wakes up???

Colts to win 34:24

Browns @ Redskins: I am not sure I know who will be the Browns quarterback given the craziness of Terrell Pryor being a first guy since like ever to throw for so many yards and to receive and rush for another amount too. I reckon Cleveland is just going to roll with the show as long as people have fun.
Redskins have got to win this game after gathering momentum by winning one against the Giants. It will be a game I won’t bother to watch it or even look for storylines as the Beckham- Norman II was a disappointment. Beckham vs kicking net though…

Redskins to win 27:10

Panthers @ Falcons: Ah. Panthers have the thing for high priority games this season. After dropping a huge one against the Vikings who forced Newton into three interception, the mighty MVP and his mates don’t look so rosey really.
After MNF Falcon’s win in New Orleans things look quite exciting as both teams sit at 1-2 and it’d be huge for Carolina to lose. That might be a clutch grind.

Panthers to win 22:21

Raiders @ Ravens: I’m liking this one very much to have an afternoon watch after the Colts’ game. Raiders’ young offence has been ticking nicely, it’s the defense that seems to struggle here not supporting Carr’s and co. efforts.
Ravens on the other hand are still 3-0 and they seem to do it well in all parts of games, keeping opponents scores low for Flacco and Smith Sr. to puffingly finish off the differences. Might be a slug fest might be a feast.

Ravens to win 24:21

Bills @ Patriots: Oh dear. Rex Ryan supported by Taylor and limping Watkins are headed to Foxborough. The clash of the evil forces is due with Ryan and Belchick done their due in, in secret locations of the team’s sacrificial altars…
Yes… It can be anyone, anywhere at anytime with Belchick as the recent history shows and no matter how much foam escapes Rex’s mouth it won’t change what already has been carved in the stone, centuries ago…

Patriots to win 9-35

Titans @ Texans:Ah! This one will interest me a tiny bit as it’s the AFC South showdown for dominance. The Titans got handed well by an expressive Raider’s offence at home and Texans got ‘ Belchicked’ last Thursday night that showed the reason why John Elway might smile after not signing Brock Osweiler to huge contract. Dude needs to impress more for the Texans to count.

Texans to win 14:7

Seahawks @ Jets: I’m not 100% sure that we’ll see the starting stars quarterbacks of both teams. Wilson is nursing some ankle injury and he skipped part of last game, although the Hawks whooped the 49ers so badly he could have had possibly had a rest day.
On Jets side… Well Ryan Fitzpatrick scored the lowest grade ever given to a quarterback by PFF dudes. He tossed 6 picks I think and it seems so sad that after such a decent season he had last year he is in a very dark place. Really dark.

Seahawks to win 26:11

Lions @ Bears: Ah. Stafford vs Hoyer just doesn’t get the juices running for me. But neither would Stafford vs Cutler so… Oh I really don’t know. I just realised Colts will play against the Bears and that might be a game of misery.
Anyway, Lions vs Packers might have had been a classic one some time ago but recently both teams have been too average to get excited over their lovely meet up.

Lions to win 19:16

Broncos @ Buccaneers:This is an interesting match up. No one expected the Broncos to be able to put points on the board but they do and no one expected the Buccaneers to suck so much, especially Winston. Perhaps lack of Doug Martin puts too much pressure on Winston- Evans chemistry and the naughty pirates are yet to catch a good wind in their sails.
I know I’ll take the Broncos D here and trust enough their offense led by 7th round pick to get enough points to get another win

Broncos to win 21:15

Cowboys @ 49ers:Oh gosh. This could be a dark horse this week. The 49ers play a team that isn’t yet announced play off bound, like the Seahawks for example, and maybe here we will see a bit of repeat from their opener.
On the other side, the Giants could have been 3-0 and their rookies are rolling hard and hot these days so one never knows really.

49ers to win 23:17

Rams @ Cardinals:It’s a bit confusing down there in LA but it’s ‘good’ confusing really as the Rams are pushing through despite Gurley’s struggles to keep up his rookie performance in second season. If it wasn’t for this strange opening week loss to the 49ers the Rams would be undefeated.
On the other side of the river one sees struggling Carson Palmer whose effectivness and production really dropped by a lot in comparison to last season and it shows with the Cardinals sitting ugly at 1-2.

Cardinals to win 34-27

Saints @ Chargers:I would expect this match up to be a great air assault but things are weird in 2016 so I’m not sure what one will get here. The Saints are in a desperate need of a win as they are 0-3 and according to some stats none of 49 teams in last 10 seasons that started a season 0-3 made play offs.
The home team will look to bounce back up from a rather disappointing loss last week. It looked like Chargers had Colts by their throat and it then fell apart. Sports.

Saints to win 41:30

Chiefs @ Steelers:That it is going to be a fun to watch game. Both teams are 2-1 both know the price of this conference game and both realise they might meet again in January.
The Chiefs look good, beside that strange loss to the Texans. Kelce- Smith duo are fairly effective and the defense is alive.
The Steelers got beat by a suddenly raising start in Philadelphia by the name of Wentz. The rookie quarterback is the hot topic but he is no Big Ben, who sadly is Getty ng through some slump in production. Home fans will hope to see some anger and aggression here.

Steelers to win 27:11

Giants @ Vikings:This is going to be a show of a defense against an offense. The Giants will provide some attacking while Vikings will be protecting the home court. Eli and OBJ with supporting cast might really struggle to move the ball while the Vikings won’t manage to progress much on the offense and it’ll be down to the defence and special teams to carry the momentum. Or perhaps to even get it going.

Vikings to win 18:14

Phew. I’m done for now. I can go and hide while the universe work its own thing. Who do you have as favourites and who’s bound to get a fat L This week?
Drop me a comment or two peeps.

And 2 was the number left…

No more of fancy, odd, awkward and sometimes strange stat lines tides up to the number of football-less Sundays left. I think I bore my readers to death with them so for the two week mark I’ve got two things to say really.

One, there’s not going to be article next week on the last Sunday of  Misery as I’m already thinking of switching focus to the season itself and I hope to have some new features up and running soon.

Two, this past few months have been a great building experience for me and even though I haven’t achieved my goals I had set myself but I hope I have managed to create a starting point I can expand on during the coming months.

The season itself? Well I think I’ll take it week by week, game by game without much expectations. Colts are not built to be the best and it’d take that something special for them to really get there but as it is with sports, you never know until the last whistle is blown. Time will tell us all the stories in its own manner. 

And that is going to be all. The last football less Sunday we all should spend daydreaming our favourite teams into the shiny path of the Super Bowl. See you on the field!

24 Sundays.

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Time flies. Time drags. Time this and time that. Thing is time just remains at it constant value and it’s only the perception of ours, state of mind we are in that colours in our emotions regarding passing of time.
My journey from 25th Sunday to 24th was rather painful, frustrating and tiring. It dragged…
Yours on the other hand might have been exciting, shocking and surprising. It flew..
Regardless of how we got here from the point of last week’s read of “Did you know that?” it is time to embrace our next challenge and acknowledgement of football season getting closer in another cheerful write up.
This time we stay around the Colts and we are popping our heads into blazingly furious world of Jacksonville Jaguars in Did you know that?

  • Blake Bortles will be 24 years old on 28th of April just in time for the Draft 2016 kick off. The second year signal caller tripled on passing touchdowns from his rookie season as the number grew from 11 to 35, he even lowered his interceptions numbers from 18 to 17 although the rate of sacks remained slightly higher and quite worrying as in 2015 he got sacked 55 times (!) for a loss of 345 yards. The third year will hopefully mark improvement in the pocket awareness while hoping for steady increase in other performances should be other factor in his season.

  • Allen Robinson started 24 games in his career consisting of 26 games total? This wide receiver’s second season was a great jump from his rookie campaign that saw him missing 6 games. He caught 14 receiving touchdowns in 2015 out of 80 passes he caught from 151 attempts thrown his way. He averaged decent 87.5 yards a game and in third year he should hopefully carry on his explosion of catches, cheering up the local fans.

  • Stephan Wisniewski was Raiders 24th choice of second round of 2011 draft? After four seasons in Oakland the center landed in Jacksonville where he continued on high note of starting all 16 games third time in five seasons. To date he has been credited with 6 fumbles (1 in Jacksonville), 3 fumble recoveries (1 in Jacksonville) and 3 tackles in total. And how crazily little information one can pull out of offensive lineman stats page??

  • Jaguars return team was classified 24th overall in 2015? They had 31 punt returns for total of 361 yards and one touchdown, with the longest play being 73 yards by Rashad Greene. They also returned 31 kick offs for a total of 721 yards and no scores. Their longest return was 42 yarder by Corey Grant.

  • Jaguars special teams allowed exactly 24 yards on average when opposing teams decided to return kick offs? All together the Jags special teams faced 23 returns and allowed 553 yards. Punt wise, the Jaguars were faced with the opposition bringing back 45 punts for a total of 462 yards. Through the whole 2015 season Jacksonville did not allow returning touchdown to be scored by their opponents.

And that will be all for now as the Easter bunnies are hopping around us angrily expecting us to find them more chocolate eggs and perhaps a shelter. We have killed another Sunday successfully and soon it’ll be all buzz from draft prospects across the country.

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

20 – 25. Who won though?

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Well. No one won and there was no losers. My title simply reminds us that is the 20th of March and we still have 25 football-less Sundays to endure in this very dead period of NFL year. I’m pretty sure the next exciting thing we are waiting for is the release of the schedule with dates and times…
How sad it is to be an American Football fan. Choice for this week’s team of the week has been randomly decided to involve one of the Colts divisional rivals so let’s cheer… for money frenzy Houston Texans and let’s see ‘Did any of you know that…?’

  • Brock Osweiler who just joined the Texans in a surprising off season move worth $72M, has been sacked 25 times during his career that included 7 starts and 21 games that he played in since he joined the Broncos. Osweiler completed 61.8% of his passes for 1967 yards 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions during his 2015 season that saw some extended action and only time will tell us if Houston management had done a good deal by signing him.

  • Brian Hoyer, who started and played the most games at quarterback position in Houston in 2015, was sacked 25 times too and these sacks only included his 2015 campaign. Hoyer threw 19 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions and had 60.7% completion rate but at times it was painful to watch how Houston’s offense struggled so badly.

  • C. J. Fiedorowicz’s, the team’s starting tight end, longest reception of the season was for 25 yards. Fiedorowicz was targeted 24 times and caught 17 passes that resulted in 167 yards and one touchdown. Fiedorowicz also fumbled once. He will be 25 years old in October 2016 during Houston’s next season.

  • Houston defensive team had forced 25 turnovers during the 2015 season. Texan’s defense ranked 7th in points allowed with 313, 3rd in yards allowed with 4963 but were 14th in receiving touchdowns allowed as they let their opponents into the end zone via air mail 24 times. Overall Houston had itself a decent year defensively, only the struggles at quarterback seemed to be stopping their progress. Well, it’s meant to be a history now.

  • Kareem Jackson who wears jersey number 25 had played in the fewest games in season during his whole carer? Jackson started only 10 games and showed itself in two more but he still had one of better years production wise as he had two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, he forced a fumble and recovered one too and added 52 tackles (his second highest record after his rookie campaign, where he amassed 58). Not bad for a fairly quiet secondary player.

And it pains me that each week the number and chosen team don’t produce some mind numbing numbers and results that could scream from the headlines of many newspapers but as much as we like to think about glory, records and highlights, any sport involves plenty of players that many fans never heard of but without whom, the stars we hear about each day, wouldn’t be able to blossom. Team sports. Funny thing. And we killed another Sunday!

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

It’s the 13th. Luckily it’s Sunday.

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Or perhaps it’s not as lucky as we can think as today is another Sunday without football on telly to keep us sane and with all hair on our heads. We still have 26 Sundays to endure before there will be some touchdown calls, penalties handed out, flag challenges thrown and of course the inevitable replay showing us how unnecessarily complicated the game of football had become.
We also had a frantic start to the Free Agency and as always some teams stayed put, some decided to go all out in a hope of bringing that game changer into their trenches.
And after few days of manic spending it appears that the winners to our weekly series are the New York Giants, which three top FA might get out of their freshly signed contracts up to $193.75M of American dollars. Crazy as hell.
So, without further ado, let’s look at some of them in our weekly series of ‘Did you know that?’

  • Olivier Vernon will be 26 years old in October. The defensive end just inked himself a contract worth up to $85M with $52.5M guaranteed. Which possibly will be the second highest contract handed out this year to a free agent. He spent his all professional career playing for Miami Dolphins who selected him in 3rd round 72nd overall. Since then he appeared in all possible 64 games and started 46 of these.
    During that time he recorded 3 forced fumbles, 29 sacks, 137 tackles with 51 assist. His career highs in sacks is 3, in tackles is 8. Hopefully both the player and the team will enjoy a fruitful relationship that is expected to last 5 years.

  • Victor Cruz had 26 receiving yards in a game against the Bengals which the Giants lost. The game was played on November 11th, 2011 which made Cruz to be exactly 26years old that very day.
    It’s all old news from Cruz’s land as he just took a pay cut to remain with the Giants, after missing season and a half due to injuries.
    The last time we saw Cruz playing was October the 12th 2014, when the Eagles shut out the Giants 0-27. Cruz had 2 catches on 3 targets for 16 yards. It is going to be interesting to see if he manages to get back to the high level of playing his fans had gotten used to that earned him this huge contract in first place. Anyway the cut sees his money to go from $7.9M to $3M with a chance of earning $2.5M back through play on the field, for reaching the incentives numbers.

  • Odell Beckham contributed in return game for the Giants in 2015; he had returned 2 punts for 26 yards in total. He also had one kick off return attempt but that resulted in no yards gain or lost. We all know that Beckham’s strength lies somewhere else than in return duties and the young gun had himself a steady and slightly improved season 2015, comparing to his rookie season.
    Firstly, he played in more games (12 in 2014, 15 in 2015), had higher yards average per reception (14.3 in ’14 15.1 in ’15) and he recorded one more touchdown but he averaged over 12 yards a game less than in his rookie season.
    One might wonder, if Beckham keeps the level of production as it is (and sorts his mental issues out), what kind of money he’ll be asking for once his time comes?

  • Rashad Jennings contributed 26 points to the total of 422 that the Giants scored? Jennings’s points came from 3 rushing touchdown, one receiving touchdown and… a safety when he blocked a punt, that resulted in ball bouncing back through end zone, in a game against the Redskins. Jennings started off the Giants 2-0 before the offence even took the field in a first victory of 2015 season, where NY beat Washington 32-21 and Jennings ended up with 11 carries for 32 yards and three catches for 25 yards, totaling 57 for a day.

And perhaps we should finish this Sunday off, knowing that the next time one of you reads ‘did you know that?’ here it is going to be only 25 Sundays away and perhaps quite more contracts signed, restricted etc closer to the kick off of the 2016 season. Until then, try to stay safe and sane!

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

One down, 27 to go!

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It is 6th of March and there are 27 more Sundays standing between us and the first regular season football Sunday. It is a bit of a drag but we all must endure the journey that will finish in first part of September.
The NFL Combine had long been finished and there is plenty of dust in Indianapolis that needs… dusting off, there have been plenty of new names of young athletes being thrown around the media as to who is gonna be the next who, and who reminds us of other whos but I’ll leave it to professionals that deal with the stuff daily.
Here, as we have done it in the past we’ll look at the magic of numbers and today’s winner is number 27. As last week I paired number 28 with Super Bowl Champs, Broncos I should probably mix 27 with the Panthers just for equal measure of… erm… Well why not. So without further ado:

Did you know that?

  • Cam Newton will be 27 years old on May 11th and he already has an NFL MVP award to his name. Despite quite a young and ripe age, Newton isn’t even in top 10 youngest NFL MVP winners. Nevertheless in 2015 he led the NFL in total touchdowns with 45 scores. 35 through the air and 10 on his legs. He put an incredible campaign despite fairly mediocre passing stats and came just one win shy of reaching the Lombardi Trophy.

  • Ted Ginn returned 27 punts for a total of 277 yards averaging 10.3 yards per attempt. He is yet to return a punt for a touchdown while wearing Panthers jersey. He has done it four times in his career. Ginn had one of the busiest seasons of his career as he was targeted 97 times (career best), caught 44 passes (career 2nd), while recording 739 receiving yards (2nd) for an average 16.8 yards per reception (1st) and whopping 10 touchdowns (career best by a mile, up to start of the 2015 season, Ginn had caught 11 touchdown passes). Quite a year for a 30 years old vet.

  • Carolina Panthers finished 4 games when they scored 27 points. What’s interesting all these games happened within team’s first 9 games. These games were: week 3 against the Saints with the end result 27-22 in favour of Panthers; week 5 at the Seahawks, nail biting run to the finish 27-23 for the Panthers; week 6 against the Eagles, easy win 27-16 and week 9 at the Titans turf where the Panthers even more easily won 27-10.
    The second most common score was 38 (three times) and it occurred between week 14 and 17. The only time Panthers didn’t score 38 points in that period of time was in their only loss of the season to the Falcons.

  • Roman Harper, starting strong safety, recorded 27 tackle assists on the way of total 46 tackles during 2015 season. Rest of his season wasn’t very explosive as he grabbed two fumble recoveries and defended five passes during fairly quiet individual campaign. Or perhaps his colleagues were just going 110% through the season as the Panthers finished in top five in carious defensive metrics.

  • When the Panther’s first game of the 2016 will be done and dusted, Brad Norman, teams punter, will be celebrating his 27th birthday. (I know there’s a lack of 27 among the Carolina players). Norman had a fairly decent season having punted 70 times for 3175 yards, with the longest punt only 7 yards shorter of his record 72 yards, which he accomplished twice in his career in two different seasons.

That will be it for this week’s edition of ‘Did you know Sundays’ as obviously the numbers are all against us and the number 27 was awkward enough to avoid big time players Carolina has on the roster like Kuechly, Davis, Olsen or Stewart. Funny enough, the team’s average age is just under a year from being 27 years old. Sometimes not much can be done about the numbers, except looking into wallet and counting money one might have so they can look at cool stuff to buy such as this great looking Cam Newton’s figurine

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com 

It’s 28 of February and we have 28 Sundays to go.

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Another week has gone by, another scandal was reported. NFL Combine is happening in Indy and those really desperate for any bit of action probably follow the prospects and secretly dream about their team pick this dude over that one.
The start of the new NFL season is less than two weeks away and the craziness of free agency is starting to take wild turns, but us the average folks, we still have 28 painful Sundays to go until the Thursday the 8th of the September comes along and we are going to back in business but until then, let’s try to find out what hides beneath the charming number 28 in our cool little game known as:
Did you know that?

  • Vernon Davis who was traded to Broncos for two six round picks ((2016, 2017) – plus Broncos is to receive 7th rounder in 2016 draft)), in November was targeted 28 times having caught 20 passes for 201 yards and no touchdowns during the stint with the Broncos.
    His first caught pass was from Brock Osweiler after the kind of infamous game against Kansas City where Manning beat Favre’s total yards record while throwing four picks and eventually ending up benched due to foot injury. While his last caught pass occurred when Denver visited the Steelers meaning that, probably outside of the practice the well known veteran caught no passes from the other well known veteran. Life, eh?

  • Sylvester Williams (NT) was drafted overall 28th in 2013 by the Broncos and his cap hit was worth just over 2 million dollars in 2015 season. Williams went on starting 15 games out of 15 he played in, he recorded 2.5 sacks, 17 tackles and he will be 28 in November 2016 while he is still hopefully playing for the team next season.

  • Shaquil Barret (OLB) that Denver picked as an UDFA in 2014 and who played no games in 2014 went onto recording 28 tackles during his 16 games in 2015. He got to start six of them and added 4 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles, and 5.5 sacks. Perhaps a change of Jersey’s number from 50 to 48 helped him, perhaps it was just a natural development.

  • Denver Broncos were faced 28 times against the Extra Point Attempt despite allowing 29 touchdowns. They also got a free pass during one of the PAT’s as they allowed only 27 go through.
    (And as much as the website I use lives details there seems to be too much digging to find that one game out, but if you know in which game Bronco’s opponents missed the extra point, do let me know).

  • As a team the Broncos were ranked 28th in kick and punt returns having returned 29 punts for 283 yards and one touchdown and having to return 27 kick-offs for 588 yards and no scores. Their longest kick return was worth 41 yards and the longest punt return was 83 yards long resulting in touchdown and went to Omar Golden who also recorded the longest kick-off return. Golden will be 28 years old in December 2016 but it remains to be seen if he’ll be still returning man for the Broncos.

And I must admit I expected more fireworks from the number 28 and Denver Broncos mixture but obviously when I decided randomly mix them two together I didn’t realise that the search would not return many big names.
Well, not every week will result in big scores, and not every Sunday the big names will be on our mouths so let’s not despair and get this cool little belt buckle, of course if we are Broncos fans.
When we meet next week there will be only 27 Sundays left to go and we will be that one week happier.

ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com